The New York Times reports that toy car rides remain one of North America’s most popular toy trends, from pedal-powered cars to electric sedans that look (and drive) like mom and dad’s cars.
Toy cars are small and designed for toddlers, tykes, and tweens, but they are very cumbersome to assemble.
It’s time to step on the metal. This guide on how to assemble a toy car will move you. And if you want to avoid the usual 5-6 hours it takes to make a toy car, don’t worry. It also provides some tips on finding a simple off-the-shelf assembly solution that can be moved from 0 to 60 without lifting one finger (or hammer).
Start the engine: tools, parts, inspection.
Think of this step as your first visit to the DMV to get your license. You may have asked to rent a family van for practice quizzes, re-reading your notes several times, and finally, for a practice trip around the block.
Building a toy car to drive is no different. Success (and safety) starts with the proper preparation.
Gather tools to build a toy car
Some driving toy cars may include one or two tools, such as a small ratchet or several hex wrenches. However, most toy cars require various other devices, so check the manual before turning your living room into a Nascar pit stop.
- Sharp scissors or knife
Double-Check That You Aren’t Missing Any Parts
Most toy car manuals start with a diagram showing all the parts needed to build a toy car. Pour the contents of the box thoroughly and layout each piece. Check the following:
- Have all the right parts
- Have the correct number of each part
If you find a wheel or axle missing during assembly, it’s a big headache for you and the excited, impatient kids in the next room.
Inspect the Toy Car For Damage
It may not be a real wing bend, but warped bumpers or bent battery posts are at least a big disappointment when the average ride cost of a toy car is $400-600. At best, it poses a threat to the safety of your family.
- Rust and oxidation
- Chipped or peeling paint
- Dents, scrapes, cracks, or scratches
If a damaged part is found, please refer to the manufacturer’s documentation to provide evidence of damage and instructions on how to replace the part.
Steps to Assemble a Ride-On Car
Each specific brand and model is slightly different, but the process is long and tedious but straightforward. (Yes, I’ll give you a hint in a moment if you want to save time building toy cars.)
Step 1. Read the safety precautions and charge the battery
Leaving a small Hot Wheels car on the living room floor is a minor inconvenience. However, improperly built toy cars can be hazardous for children. Before you begin, carefully read all safety information contained in the user manual.
Connect and charge your toy car’s battery while reading a book. It can take a day or more to set, so don’t delay.
Step 2. Prepare Your Work Space
To build a toy car, you need a clean, concise and quiet place. Now is not the time for toddlers to dig through piles of little cogs or use their little fingers to start an unfinished car.
Put all the tools and parts in front and arrange them in the order you need them. Assembling a toy car can take hours, so be prepared in advance to save time in the process.
Step 3. Assemble the toy car according to the instructions in the manual
In most cases, we start by assembling the car chassis. However, every brand and model is different. Treat the instruction manual as if you were driving a car and passing a police officer on the street. Reduce your speed and follow all rules and regulations.
Tips for Difficult or Complicated Toy Car Parts
Do you put stickers and brand emblems on the front of your child’s race car? Light. Would you like to add fake mud paint to the back of your daughter’s toy jeep? Breeze.
However, some essential parts are challenging when riding a family toy car.
It is prone to incorrect tension, bending, or lack of space in springs. The door latch may not close the door entirely, or your child’s fingers may be caught.
Axles allow all four wheels of a car to move simultaneously, just like in a real car. A misaligned or bent axle can mean a wheel-jammed or unpredictable car ride, a hard-to-drive vehicle, or wobbling when your child is playing.
Electronic pieces and wiring
A poor connection from the headlight to the battery terminal may cause malfunction. And without a link, the machine may not work at all!
Don’t Forget: How to Charge the Battery
As mentioned earlier, try charging the battery before starting work (if your toy car has a standalone charger). Electric batteries power All-electric toy cars. The more common 12V and 24V batteries take up to 20 hours to charge the first time and then about 8 hours to charge. Less common 6V batteries require 12 hours to initially charge but only 6 hours to recharge.
- Consult the owner’s manual
- Make sure the battery is firmly connected to the charger or, if charging in a toy car, make sure the battery is in contact with all terminals.
- Keep toy cars and batteries away from rain and moisture (i.e., bring them into the garage or home and not charge them where they will be exposed to the elements).